Alumni Reflections

Clinical legal education is a vital part of law school education, and provides real-world experience to students facing a competitive job market. Rachelle M. Navarro (JD ’11) reflects on her personal experiences in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, and weighs in on the importance of enhancing clinical education in her recent article, A Recent Grad Assesses Clinical Education, published in the American Bar Association’s The Journal of the Section of Litigation, Vol. 41 No. 1 (Fall 2014). Navarro is a litigation associate at the New York office of Davis Polk & Wardwell.

Rachelle Navarro (JD '11) Reflects on Her Experience in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic

Alumni Perspective
The Immigrants’ Rights Clinic was an opportunity for me to give back and help others benefit from this system. Having found a program that fulfilled my passion, I became invested and engaged, and it has shaped the bulk of my pro bono practice since then. In my two years in private practice, I have represented four indigent clients in immigration-related proceedings. By providing students with the option to find work they love and can personally invest in, law schools can help shape the work of the next generation of lawyers.

Initially at Stanford Law and now as a staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California, [Michael] Kaufman has been part of a landmark class-action lawsuit team trying to reform the immigrant detention process. After his ACLU 
internship [his 1L summer], Kaufman returned to Stanford Law and enrolled in the clinic. There, Kaufman helped develop the complaint and claims in Rodriguez v. Robbins, a class action that was filed in 2007 by Srikantiah and ACLU attorneys.

Michael Kaufman (JD '07) and His Work on Challenging Immigration Detention after Stanford

Alumni Reflections
“Immigration law is incredibly complex, some say second only to the tax code,” says Kaufman, JD ’07 (BA ’03), and yet immigration is a civil matter and detainees have no right to counsel. He recalls thinking, “We’ve got to do something to help these people.”

Two MLC Students Awarded Prestigious 2015 Skadden Fellowship

Nisha Kashyap (JD ‘15) and Stacy Villalobos (JD ‘15) were each awarded a fellowship with the Skadden Fellowship Foundation on December 11, 2014. Now in its 26th year, this highly competitive program funds a total of 28 elite law school graduates and law clerks to work for nonprofit organizations in the public interest. Eight of the 2015 fellows are from California, and Nisha and Stacy are among them.

Stacy—an alum of the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic—will join the Legal Aid Society’s Employment Law Center in San Francisco, which focuses on direct representation to low-wage, immigrant women workers in Fresno, California. The Center uses community education, impact litigation and advocacy to expand and protect clients’ rights, capitalizing on recently passed state laws to strengthen worker protections.

Nisha – an alum of both the Youth and Education Law Project and the Community Law Clinic – will join The Alliance for Children’s Rights in Los Angeles, where she will work with the L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative to dismantle the common barriers to educational attainment that transition-age foster youth encounter, using direct services, stakeholder training, and state and local policy advocacy.